Friday, August 23, 2013

Sprouting Wings and Staying Put

Hello there!!! It's true. Abbz and I slacked off a little with the blog there for a while. But hey, we were busy doing something kind of important. . . Graduating! That's right, as Abbz said in her last post, we are now women of the world. (Or at least women of somewhere bigger than our beloved CAM High School). This is a big step in our lives. So I'm gonna give you an update on where we've come since then.
As you may know from reading previous posts, Abbz and I were some of the first people in our class to pick our colleges. For her, the obvious choice was Washington State University in Pullman. She had so much waiting there for her already and she could practically hear God calling her name from the windy walks of the Cougar campus. And that call never waned. As she drew closer and closer to that life-changing day called "move-in," her excitement grew.
Several weeks before she moved to Pullman, she went for her orientation. Every day she was there only offered her more reasons to dive into her new life with joy and enthusiasm. As if she needed any more encouragement. Abbz is one of the most joyful people I have ever met. Embracing every new adventure with all she has, the kindness and sweet sincerity she has in her heart shine through her words and actions. Needless to say, this positivity served her well, even at her short orientation. She made friends right away and encouraged those she encountered. When she left her orientation and came home, the first thing she said to me was that she wanted to go back.
And so she did. She was one of the first of all of our friends to leave. It was hard for me to say goodbye to her. Obviously. She's my best friend. The thought of not being able to see her any time I needed/wanted to was hard for me to take. But as her mama said to me a few days later, "It's hard to be sad about someone when they're so over the moon." Since My Little Cougar has moved to Pullman, I've cherished seeing all of the pictures she's posted of her and her new friends and seeing how much joy she is finding in her new home. She is by far the most excited of our peers for this new phase in our lives. I couldn't be happier for her.
What about me, you ask? (Ok, you probably weren't asking that, but it's a classic transition!) Well. . . My journey didn't play out quite like Abbz's did, although I was fully expecting it to. When I last left you I was geared up to be a Bronco at Boise State University. It was the only college I applied to because I felt such an excitement for the school. After just a few weeks of thinking about it, I couldn't see myself anywhere else.
I too went to my orientation (on my second try, but my unfortunate car problems are a tale for a whole different time). Although I came out of it feeling great, it was actually a two-day roller coaster for me. There was a lot of information - some that I was comfortable with, and some that left me feeling very small in a very big place. Thankfully, I was able to be encouraged by the academic counselors I met and when I left, I felt the buzz of excitement that's supposed to turn up during this time. Oh yes, it was there.
The funny thing is, we as humans can be absolutely, 100% , without a doubt sure about something, and God can still smile down upon us and say, "Oh no you don't." Even at the last minute. And one month before my set departure date, God had this very message for me.
Sitting down with my dad one evening to examine some To-Do list items for college preparation, we decided to take a look at where my finances were. We went onto my Bronco account and added up all of my costs. Then we subtracted all of my financial aid, savings, and money I would make working while attending BSU. Quite to my surprise, I came up short. Almost $4000 short for the whole year. Up until this point, I had been living in that optimistic dream state I tend to occupy when planning for things. You see, I'm a cup-half-full kind of girl. And for the last four years, I'd had a plan of going to college. And because that was my plan, I was going to come up with the money. That was all there was to it.
Unfortunately, that last $4000 was money that I absolutely did not have. Throughout the year, I wouldn't be able to work any more than I was, and scholarship opportunities were just about closed. My only option left was to take out a loan. Decidedly, I was not going to take that option. Although I'm an optimist, I'm also practical, and I knew that there were ways to accomplish my undergrad without debt. So why would I strap myself with debt later in life just to have the experience that my culture tells me I should have in college. I know lots of people do it, and if that's what they are comfortable with, then I'm happy for them. I just couldn't justify it for myself.
At this point, I was left with a realization: I couldn't afford my plan. The path that I had set out for myself, probably before I even started high school, was now falling apart four weeks before my ship set sail. Naturally, it was a big slap in the face. My dad told me to think about what my options were, talk about it with people that are important in my life and give myself a week to make a decision.
I was lost. I didn't know what to do. But as I slowly worked through everything in my head, I turned to God for my solution. When I brought my problem to my beautiful best friend Abbz, she had words of wisdom for me. Reminding me that sometimes the path is not easy, she told me to seek God's will above my own preferences and considerations. Fitting to my situation, I thought of the lyrics from the song Help Me Find It by Sidewalk Prophets:

"I don’t know where to go from here
It all used to seem so clear
I’m finding I can’t do this on my own I
 don’t know where to go from here
As long as I know that You are near
I’m done fighting I’m finally letting go
I will trust in You
You’ve never failed before
 I will trust in You

If there’s a road I should walk Help me find it
If I need to be still
Give me peace for the moment
Whatever Your will
Whatever Your will
Can you help me find it
Can you help me find it."

Through His faithfulness to me, God helped me find my road. By the end of my set week, I felt very led in the direction of a gap year. Among the options that I had laid out for myself, it was the only one I felt total peace about.
A small piece of my heart - that little blue and orange piece that had been growing in there for months now - was broken. When I was so close to fulfilling the dream that I had become so excited about, I had to open my hand and let it all slip through my fingers.
But guess what? I believe that God does all things for a purpose, and even in this disappointment, He is fulfilling His perfect plan that He has for my life. Also, I'm the kind of person that likes to give 100% to what I'm doing. Since I decided to go with this new plan, I'm going to GO WITH IT. Planning for this gap year includes working, pursing my relationship with Christ, and even taking a trip out of the country! So fear not, dear readers. It's not sad. I get to follow this new path that God has set up for me and I am confident that He has great things waiting for me along the way. And Boise State University will still be there for me next fall.
 Psalm 117:1-2 "Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever."

 #growingup #ToLiveWillBeAnAwefullyBigAdventure #collegeswag #cookieswag #GreatisThyfaithfulness #ThugLife

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